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I-35 pavement marking project covers Osage, Franklin and Coffey counties

The Kansas Department of Transportation has started a pavement marking project on Interstate 35. The work begins at the I-35 and U.S. Highway 75 junction and continues northeast to Eisenhower Road at Ottawa.

The existing pavement markings are being removed and replaced. Northbound and southbound I-35 traffic will be restricted to one lane with a reduced speed limit at the work zone. Weather permitting, the project should be finished by late July.

KDOT awarded the construction contract of $950,000 to Traffic Control Company, of St. Louis, Mo. For more information, contact Troy Howard at the KDOT office in Garnett, 785-448-5446, or Priscilla Petersen at the Chanute KDOT office, 620-902-6433.

Boil water advisories issued for multiple public water supply systems in Lyon, Coffey counties

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued boil water advisories for 12 public water supply systems in Lyon and Coffey Counties. KDHE officials issued the advisories because of a line break in Emporia, resulting in a loss of pressure. Failure to maintain adequate pressure may result in a loss of chlorine residuals and bacterial contamination.

The boil water advisory issued for the city of Emporia earlier today remains in effect.

The water systems in Lyon and Coffey counties currently under a boil water advisory are as follows: City of Admire, Lyon County, city of Allen, Lyon County, Coffey County Rural Water District 2E, Coffey County, city of Emporia, Lyon County, city of Hartford, Lyon County, Lyon County Rural Water District 1, Lyon County, Lyon County Rural Water District 2, Lyon County, Lyon County Rural Water District 3, Lyon County, Lyon County Rural Water District 4, Lyon County, Lyon County Rural Water District 5, Lyon County, city of Olpe, Lyon County, Park Place Communities Management, Lyon County.

The advisories took effect on July 20, 2017, and will remain in effect until conditions that place the systems at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved adequately.

  • Customers should observe the following precautions until further notice:
  • Boil water for one minute prior to drinking or food preparation, or use bottled water.
  • Dispose of ice cubes and do not use ice from a household automatic icemaker.
  • Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces by immersion for at least one minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water.
  • Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled. Supervision of children is necessary while bathing so that water is not ingested. Persons with cuts or severe rashes may wish to consult their physicians.
  • If your tap water appears dirty, flush the water lines by letting the water run until it clears.

Public water suppliers in Kansas take all measures necessary to notify customers quickly after a system failure. Regardless of whether it is the supplier or KDHE that announces a boil water advisory, KDHE will issue the rescind order following testing at a certified laboratory.

Coffey County man used PlayStation to collect child porn

WICHITA, Kan. – A Coffey County man pleaded guilty today to using a PlayStation video game console to obtain child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Kansas.

The office reported that Michael L. Stratton, 30, Burlington, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of receiving child pornography. In his plea, Stratton admitted using a PlayStation 3 to chat about child pornography and trade child pornography.

KBI arrests Coffey County sheriff’s deputy

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Matthew Vander Linden

BURLINGTON, Kan. – An investigation by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation has led to the arrest of Matthew G. Vander Linden, a deputy of the Coffey County Sheriff’s Office.

Vander Linden, 28, was arrested Tuesday afternoon for two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, one count of electronic solicitation, and one count of sexual exploitation of a child. The arrest took place without incident at the Coffey County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation, which began Dec. 20, was initiated at the request of the Coffey County Sheriff’s Office. Vander Linden has been with the sheriff’s office since March 2014. Effective today, his employment at the sheriff’s office was terminated.

According to a press release, the KBI’s investigation is ongoing, and no further information will be released at this time.

Wind farm under construction; oversize loads head to Coffey County through December

The Ad Astra wind farm in southeast Kansas has begun construction and approximately 900 oversize loads will be traveling the routes listed below to locations in Coffey County for construction of the wind farm. The planned completion of the wind farm is the first week of December. Oversize loads will be traveling the below routes through that time.

The first movement of the windmill components for the wind farm began last week. The public should expect for two components to be delivered per day, Monday through Friday. The loads include transport vehicles that range in size to 209 feet in length, 16 feet 7 inches high, 16 feet wide, and 417,000 pounds gross weight.

Approximately 800 oversize loads will be transported from Emporia on Interstate 35 to U.S. 75, then south at Beto Junction to Coffey County’s 24th Road, then east.

Approximately 100 loads will be transported south out of Emporia on state Highway 99 to U.S. Highway 54, then east to U.S. Highway 75, then north to 24th Road, then east.

U.S. 75 road work in Coffey County to start Wednesday at Osage County line

Wednesday, June 24, the Kansas Department of Transportation expects to begin a 17-mile mill and resurfacing project on U.S. Highway 75 from the Osage County line south to Burlington.

The location of the project’s initial phase has changed. Starting at the Osage-Coffey county line and continuing south to Burlington, the contractor will first mill and then place an asphalt overlay on the roadway. Flaggers and a pilot car will direct one-lane traffic through the work zone. Traveler delays of 15 minutes or less can be expected during daylight hours.

In mid-July the project activity is expected to move to U.S. 75 inside the city of Burlington. The contractor will replace the concrete pavement at the intersection of U.S. 75 and Neosho Street.

NWS issues tornado warning for Osage, Coffey, Lyon counties

The National Weather Service in Topeka has issued a tornado warning for southwestern Osage County, northwestern Coffey County, and east central Lyon County until 6 p.m. At 5:34 p.m. a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Neosho Rapids and moving northeast at 50 mph. Radar indicated rotation.

Possible impact is flying debris, which will be dangerous to those caught without shelter. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed. Damage to roofs, windows and vehicles will occur. Tree damage is likely. This dangerous storm will be near Reading around 5:50 p.m., and Melvern Lake around 5:55 p.m. This includes Interstate 35 between mile markers 136 and 149.

Coffey County Attorney named as 4th Judicial District judge

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Judge Douglas Witteman

Gov. Sam Brownback announced Sept. 24, 2014, the appointment of Douglas P. Witteman as district judge in the 4th Judicial District of Kansas. Witteman will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Thomas H. Sachse, whose courtroom was in Ottawa. 

Coffey County Lake to host 10th Veterans Memorial Bass Tournament

The 10th annual Kansas Veteran’s Memorial Bass Tournament in memory of fallen Kansas Guard members will take place Saturday, April 26, at Coffey County Lake, south of Wolf Creek Generating Station near Burlington, Kan. on Highway 75.

In her first book, Ottawa author examines grisly, unsolved Coffey County murder

The house where Florence Knoblock was murdered in 1925 still stands in a pasture in Coffey County, Kansas. Photo by Stephan Anderson-Story.

 

An Ottawa author will be speaking about her first book, about a 1925 unsolved Kansas murder, at 7 p.m. Aug. 7 at Lyndon Community Center.

Diana Staresinic-Deane’s book, Shadow on the Hill: The True Story of a 1925 Kansas Murder, is about the slaying of a Coffey County woman, Florence Knoblock, which is said to be the most brutal murder in the history of Coffey County.

Carrol (Ramsey) Niles Henderson, 92, Lyndon: June 12, 1926 – Nov. 5, 2018

LYNDON, Kan. – Carrol (Ramsey) Niles Henderson, 92, passed away on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, at Via Christi Hospital, Wichita, Kan. She was born on June 12, 1926, in Ft. Scott, Kan., the daughter of Dr. Arch and Nellie (Kelly) Ramsey.

Carrol grew up in Uniontown, Kan., and had lived near Lyndon, Kan., from 1950 to 2015, when she moved to Wichita.

Carrol attended Ft. Scott Junior College and then transferred to Kansas State University where she earned a BS in General Home Economics in 1948.

Carrol worked as an Extension home agent for Leavenworth County, and in 1950 was the first Extension home economist for Coffey County. She was the first female school board member for Lyndon Schools in the early 1960s. In 1974, she received her MS in Institutional Management from K-State. She served on the Kansas Dietetic Associations Committee for licensure of dieticians in 1988, became the first licensed dietitian in the state of Kansas in 1991, and was the Distinguished Kansas Dietitian. As a dietitian, Carrol planned meals for several nursing homes over the years, the first of which were in Lyndon and Overbrook.

Old World Bluestem: What is it? Why be concerned?

Osage and Coffey County conservation districts with local Kansas State Research and Extension units have teamed up to inform the public about the hazards of old world bluestem. A public meeting on the topic will be held 10:30 a.m.-noon, Oct. 8, 2018, at a pasture site in southern Osage County.

Producers will have an opportunity to identify old world bluestem, see areas where old world bluestem was controlled by recommended herbicides, ask questions to specialists about the recovery of the native grass species or the need to reseed. A free hotdog and chip lunch will be available.

Two local producers will discuss their control applications. Walt Fick, KSU range management specialist, will talk about the origin of old world bluestem, why we should be concerned, help with plant identification, and outline control options. Scott Marsh, of Kansas Department of Agriculture Plant Protection and Weed Control, will give the state’s current view of old world bluestem as a possible noxious weed. Robert Harkrader, with Quail Unlimited, will discuss how it negatively affects the quail population.

While these grasses are called bluestem they are not closely related to big bluestem or little bluestem. Old world bluestems are a group of introduced grasses from southeast Soviet Union, Turkey and surrounding areas. The old world bluestems are survivors of centuries of overgrazing. They are drought tolerant, aggressive, prolific seed producers, and are unpalatable compared to our native species. When pastures are overgrazed or stressed by drought, the old world bluestem invade into our native range and reduce the productivity of our pastures. Once old world bluestem invades a pasture the control currently used is herbicide.

Emporia Community Foundation opens grant application period, deadline Oct. 1

The Emporia Community Foundation is now accepting grant applications for the 2019 grant cycle. The ECF grants committee makes grants for innovative projects and programs that are responsive to changing community needs in the areas of health, social service, education, recreation, and cultural affairs.

The 2019 grant period will begin with applications being accepted during the month of September. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. Recipients will be announced in December and disbursements will be made in January 2019.

Gwen Spencer, 79, Melvern: Feb. 27, 1939 – Sept. 1, 2018

MELVERN, Kan. – Gwen Spencer, 79, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, at Coffey County Hospital, Burlington, Kan. She was born on Feb. 27, 1939, in Bethesda, Md., the daughter of Harold and Carolyn Crum Duvall.

Gwen had lived near Melvern, Kan., since 1972, having lived in the Stull, Kan., area before that. Gwen was a homemaker, had worked for the H.G. Lee Co., Ottawa, Kan., for several years, worked at Casey’s General Store, Lyndon, Kan., for 19 years, and always helped on the family farm. She was a member of the Section Church of Christ, Osage City, Kan., and the EHU at Stull.

Boil water advisory rescinded for Melvern

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment rescinded a boil water advisory today, Aug. 24, 2018, for the city of Melvern, in Osage County.

Laboratory testing samples collected from the city of Melvern indicate no evidence of contamination and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved.

The advisory was issued Aug. 20 because of a line break resulting in a loss of pressure in the system. Failure to maintain adequate pressure may result in a loss of chlorine residuals and bacterial contamination.

The order was lifted yesterday for the cities of Lyndon and Quenemo in Osage County, along with Osage County Rural Water District No. 4, Anderson County RWD No. 4, Coffey County RWD No. 3, Melvern Lake Arrow Rock Campground, and the cities of Lebo, Waverly, Williamsburg and Pomona.

Jones Trust grants ECKAN funds for local assistance programs

The trustee for the Walter S. and Evan C. Jones Testamentary Trust has presented a grant to the East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corporation (ECKAN) in the amount of $170,000 for the Stepping Stones to Success case management program in Osage, Lyon and Coffey counties, and the agency’s Head Start program.

The funds, awarded on June 25, 2018, will provide new CPR mannequins and new hearing and vision screening equipment for the Head Start program. Funds will also be used by ECKAN to support the Stepping Stones to Success case management program with individual client goals and a pilot cash match savings plan.

“ECKAN is appreciative of this award and would like to thank U.S. Trust and the Jones family for their continued support of community initiatives,” said Crystal Anderson, ECKAN assistant CEO.

Area boil water advisory rescinded except for city of Melvern

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment rescinded a boil water advisory today, Aug. 23, 2018, for 10 of the purchasing systems of Public Wholesale Water Supply District No. 12. The advisory was issued Monday because of a line break resulting in a loss of pressure in the system. Failure to maintain adequate pressure may result in a loss of chlorine residuals and bacterial contamination.

The order has been lifted for the cities of Lyndon and Quenemo in Osage County, along with Osage County Rural Water District No. 4, Anderson County RWD No. 4, Coffey County RWD No. 3, Melvern Lake Arrow Rock Campground, and the cities of Lebo, Waverly, Williamsburg and Pomona.

The boil water advisory remains in effect for the city of Melvern, in Osage County, because of a positive bacteriological sample. Additional sampling must be conducted.

Laboratory testing samples collected from Public Wholesale Water Supply District No. 12 and the purchasing systems listed above indicate no evidence of contamination, and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved. 

KDHE issues boil water advisory for Lyndon, Melvern, Quenemo after line breaks

12 area water systems under advisory

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued a boil water advisory today for 12 water systems in northeast Kansas, including the Osage County communities of Lyndon, Quenemo and Melvern. The water systems obtain water from Public Wholesale Water Supply District No. 12, which was put under the advisory because of a line break resulting in a loss of pressure in the system.

The water systems affected include those of the city of Lebo, city of Quenemo, Coffey County Rural Water District No. 3, city of Lyndon, city of Waverly, Osage Co. RWD No. 4, city of Melvern, city of Williamsburg, Osage Co. RWD No. 6, city of Pomona, Anderson Co. RWD No. 4, and Melvern Lake Arrow Rock campground.

Customers should observe the following precautions until further notice:

  • Boil water for one minute prior to drinking or food preparation or use bottled water.
  • Dispose of ice cubes and do not use ice from a household automatic icemaker.
  • Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces by immersion for at least one minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water.

Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled. Supervision of children is necessary while bathing so that water is not ingested. Persons with cuts or severe rashes may wish to consult their physicians. If your tap water appears dirty, flush the water lines by letting the water run until it clears.

The advisory took effect Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, and will remain in effect until the conditions that placed the system at risk of bacterial contamination are resolved.

Osage County Jail Log, Aug. 6 – Aug. 12, 2018

The following individuals were booked into the Osage County Jail in connection with charges or warrants as listed by the arresting agency.

Osage County sizzles in drought with scant rainfall, high temperatures

With Osage County and portions of Kansas under a state-issued drought emergency declaration, the federal government has authorized emergency grazing of some of the state’s Conservation Reserve Program acres. The governor had earlier authorized use of state lakes for water sources for counties designated in a drought emergency.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency announced today additional authorization of Conservation Reserve Program acres for emergency grazing for 44 counties in Kansas, including Osage County.

Earlier in the month, Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer issued a drought declaration for the state, which included all 105 counties in drought emergency, warning or watch status; 50 counties are in emergency status.

The declaration allows individuals and communities in counties in emergency stage to be eligible for use of water from certain state fishing lakes and some federal reservoirs. Anyone needing water from the designated lakes must contact Kansas Water Office for a water supply request prior to any withdrawals.

Likewise, eligible producers interested in emergency grazing of CRP must request approval through their local FSA before grazing eligible acreage, and obtain a modified conservation plan from the NRCS that includes grazing provisions.

The governor’s declaration is in effect until rescinded by executive order; emergency grazing of CRP is authorized through Sept. 30, 2018.

Officials cited livestock water shortages, low flows at some reservoirs, and outlook of persistent drought as reasons for the statewide drought declaration. Some areas of Kansas are behind more than 15 inches in moisture for the year, and outlooks indicate continuing above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation.

Two killed near Melvern in rollover during police pursuit

MELVERN, Kan. – Two people were killed in a rollover accident on Interstate 35 in Osage County Saturday evening, following a pursuit by a Lyon County sheriff’s officer.

According to a Lyon County Sheriff’s Office press release, about 8 p.m. July 7, 2018, a deputy attempted to stop a vehicle at mile marker 142 on I-35. The driver of the 2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser, later identified as Sharnicca D. Cannon, 23, of Tucson, Ariz., refused to stop and a pursuit ensued, heading northbound on the interstate. During the pursuit, it was learned the vehicle had recently been reported stolen during a robbery in Emporia, Kan.

The sheriff’s office reported the driver attempted to exit at a high rate of speed at the Melvern, Kan., exit, at mile marker 160, when the driver lost control, and the vehicle left the roadway and rolled several times.

Coffey County EMS, Osage County EMS, and a Life Team helicopter responded to the scene, but lifesaving measures were unsuccessful. Cannon and the passenger in the car, Anthony E. Krawczyk, 20, Mesa, Ariz., were pronounced dead at the scene. Both victims were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident.

The crash is under investigation by the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas